Knee Surgery Number 6

by Michelle Amaya
(Albuquerque, NM, USA)

4 hours after surgery!

4 hours after surgery!

This is my 6th knee surgery-the second ACL but on the opposite knee. My first ACL tear was included in the terrible TRIAD which included a torn MCL, ACL and Meniscus due to a soccer injury-I had a patellar tendon graft to fix that one. Unfortunately a month after surgery I broke my patella-my knee hyper flexed while walking down stairs. A year later I had the hardware removed so I could reenlist in the military. I was out for about 2 years, I didn't play soccer and I was pretty depressed. After the sadness ceased I was back to my normal activities-Running, Soccer, snowboarding, yoga, biking and other adventure sports. I call it my bionic knee-my triad experience changed my life-it made me realize that I couldn't be afraid to try new things.

Today I am one month out of my ACL Hamstring Graft surgery. I was so upset to find out that I tore my ACL-I knew I had a tough road ahead. I had surgery 3 weeks after diagnosis-I wanted to do as much as I could before having the surgery. I ran and even played soccer the night before I went under. The first week was tough, mostly because I got sick from the pain medications. I was not put under general anesthesia, I got a femoral nerve block, which I recommend-it helps with pain management and the sickness from the general anesthesia is not present. I was off of crutches a week later and in
physical therapy-which I go to 3 times a week. I am at the mercy of the physical therapist. I just get frustrated because I want to do more than I am allowed, I walked 2.5 miles yesterday, I am used to running so the walking was killing me. I am registered to run a half marathon in October (I registered before I knew I had the injury) Obviously I can't run it so I am determined to walk it, at that point I will be 12 weeks out. Lets see how that is going to turn out! MY physical therapist told me today that I was doing extremely well that he was actually afraid-he really thinks I am going to go out and run. I'm older now, I am 33 and a lot more sensible, I am looking at this through long term lenses. I want to try to run, I want to dance, sit cross legged, get on the elliptical trainer but he says NO! I swore up and down that I would not do anything that he has prohibited.

This is my story, I am a 33 year old female athlete and if I can survive my 6th knee surgery anyone can survive one ACL reconstruction. It takes patience, heart and soul. You can not give up, work through the pain and do what the physical therapist says. If he says you can not do it, don't think you can because you might end up back at step one.

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